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date: 26 August 2019

Armstrong, Frankie locked

  • Dave Arthur

Extract

(b Workington, Cumbria, Jan 13, 1941). English traditional singer, writer and teacher. She began singing American songs in 1957 with a band, Skiffle Group, which eventually adopted a repertory of British traditional songs. From the early 1960s Armstrong, partially sighted, combined a singing career with that of social worker. Influenced by singer Louis Killen, she studied traditional singers and analysed the synthesis of content, style and form in traditional performance. In 1964, she joined Ewan MacColl and Seeger family, §5's Critics Group. In New York in 1973 she attended a Balkan singing class run by Ethel Raim, a meeting that had a long-term influence on her both as a singer and teacher and as an activist in the Women's Movement. In 1975, Armstrong began teaching Voice Workshops which aimed to help singers and non-singers to express themselves through voice and song. Since the late 1980s, she has run joint voice workshops with her husband, Darien Pritchard, a movement and relaxation specialist. A politically committed artist, who frequently performs for women's peace and environmental groups, Armstrong has one of the most distinctive and emotive voices of the Folk Revival....

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